Dragon’s Breath

So, I have a new camera. And a party to attend. A party, mind you, where things can get slightly crazy. Although, as the years go by, the crazy gets less so. *sigh* Kids and old bones. Such is life, I reckon. Well, in any case, Kacey still breathes fire, and does it without burning off his beard. 🙂 I’m always impressed by this. It takes skill and control to 1) not swallow the fuel and 2) not dribble the fuel down your chin (which would be VERY painful when lit on fire!). In addition to some pictures I took of the event, I also captured a video of Kacey’s fire breathing. Have a look-see!


Hope you enjoy the display! I did, even watching it through the LCD screen. I’m thoroughly in love with this camera. While composition and content is my own creation, the ability to capture a clean, detailed image depends on the camera. I can focus, select aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc., but if the camera performs poorly, then my (so-called) brilliance will be for naught. Somebody who doesn’t know how to capture a great image won’t really benefit from better gear. A good photographer, though, can use the better gear to stretch her vision and more accurately realize what is seen in the mind’s eye. It’s a constant battle: vision vs. gear. Without vision, gear is useless. Better gear makes it easier to realize the vision. It’s a symbiotic relationship, in my opinion. One day, I’ll look to medium format. For now, I have an opportunity to grow into my new camera until I can stretch its boundaries.



Homeward Bound


Well, I’m on the plane flying home from a wonderful few days In Las Vegas. I attended Skip’s Summer School there at the Mirage. It was quite the experience. I’ve been to 1 or 2 hours-long workshops before, but never one this long. 3 1/2 days of photographic learning! It was a ton of fun, but now I’m ready to get home and make some pictures!


The workshop covered everything from posing to lighting to skill improvement to business considerations. Such names as Tamara Lackey, Kevin Kubota, and Jerry Ghionis provided a metric TONNE of useful information. I learned SO MUCH about lighting and posing, an quite a bit on the business side. Roberto Valenzuela’s advice to not only practice but to practice the right things hit right home with me. I can use anything as a model–even bananas on a light stand! The things I do while programming will work equally well with photography. Experimentation is the key: just start trying stuff and see what works, That’s how I got so good on computers; the same mindset applies equally well to photography.


Going forward with Matt Vanecek Portraiture, I resolve to shoot somebody every week. Maybe my wife, maybe a paying client. I will not feel weird using a banana or a Teddy Bear as a model for practice! I will get my Web site updated an create a consistent look across all of my business presence. I may not be leaving my day job anytime soon, but I can certainly arrange my business to flow smoothly. That way I can concentrate on making beautiful images!

My goal is to be more than a part-time photographer. My goal is to be a top name in photographing women. Editorial, portraits, and boudoir. I want to provide a glimpse of the heart and soul; to gently nudge aside the outer layers and see the steel that lies beneath. I love my steaks and football, but nothing fascinates, inspires, and moves me like the female of the species.

I’ll be touching down in a while. When I do, I can spread my notes out around me and get everything organized. I can remember the lessons in using speedlights from Kevin Kubota, and study the flow of posing taught by Doug Gordon in his energetic enthusiasm. I can communicate with my subject like Bambi Cantrell showed, and make my subject comfortable and confident. When I touch down, I can start working on changing the world with my photography.

For now, 33,000 feet above New Mexico, I will meditate and prepare.